Bethesda has re-released Skyrim for every electronic device in living history, including the trusty microwave. As for the Special Edition on PC, many wondered why the company even bothered since graphics are only marginally better, but what makes this latest version so good is the addition of 64-bit support. This unlocks the full potential of Skyrim and its modding community, enabling for a more stable experience. We'll show you how to install mods and completely change Skyrim.

Products used in this guide

How to install mods for Skyrim Special Edition

In this guide, we'll be using Vortex (previously called Nexus Mod Manager), which is universally recommended to keep things organized and to make installing larger packages an absolute breeze. Nexus is a dedicated platform for modders to release and update their mods for various titles, including Skyrim Special Edition. As well as publishing their content, Nexus also enables for discussion, feedback, support, and more. The website is fairly easy to navigate with most mods correctly categorized for convenient filtering.

Installing Vortex

  1. Register an account on the Nexus website.
  2. Download Vortex (Nexus Mod Manager).
  3. Install and then run Vortex.
  4. Confirm the location of Skyrim Special Edition.

    Skryim NMM

  5. Select Skyrim Special Edition.
  6. Hit OK.

    Skyrim NMM

  7. Choose where you wish to store downloaded mods (default drive is the one with Skyrim SE installed).
  8. Hit OK if an alert window shows.

We need to run Skyrim SE to the main menu before activating mods, so give the game a boot to initial menu and then quit. This will create the much-needed .ini file for editing and will ensure we don't run into issues with mods not working correctly at a later date.

Installing Mods

Skryim NMM

Now it's time to select and install some mods. We rounded up some of our favorite Skyrim mods to get you started.

  1. Search for mods on the Nexus website.
  2. Carefully read through the description of each mod.
  3. Choose the Files tab.

    Skyrim Nexus

  4. Select "Download with Manager" on the correct file(s) you need for the mod.
  5. Wait for the mods to download in Vortex.
  6. Select a mod you wish to install and choose "Install".

Once you have a few mods downloaded you may notice the load order start to populate. This list is important because some mods and files need to be loaded by the game in a specific order. Mod authors generally offer information in mod descriptions on the Nexus should their files require to be configured in a set order, and there are even tools available like LOOT that can check to see if there are any problems with your setup.

Modders create and release extra content for fun and for the love of scripting, but leaving an endorsement or even a donation can provide much-needed feedback, especially if you've enjoyed hours of entertainment because of said mod(s). Leaving a few dollars can really make their day, but do consider at least leaving a comment and endorsing their work. Skyrim wouldn't be the same without its excellent modding community.

What you'll need to mod Skyrim

You're going to need a copy of Skyrim Special Edition.


Skyrim Special Edition

One of the best RPGs on the platform

Skyrim has been around for nearly a decade, which is hard to believe for some who have poured thousands of hours playing as a character in the Nord world. Playing on PC allows you to install numerous mods to further enhance the experience and allow you to continue playing way beyond completing the main questline.

Skyrim offers hundreds of hours worth of entertainment, which can be further expanded through the installation of mods. Whether you enjoy wielding massive axes, conjuring deadly spells or sneaking around and silencing your foes, there's a playstyle for everyone to enjoy, allowing anyone to craft their own adventure in this massive fantasy world.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.